Pittsburgh Penguins Free Agency: To Sign or Not to Sign?

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Apr 1, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Daniel Winnik (26) skates up ice against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Flyers won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Winnik

Winnik was a major disappointment after being acquired via trade in exchange for Zach Sill, a second round pick in 2016, and a fourth round pick in 2015.  I had high hopes for Winnik considering his sound defensive play while with the Toronto Maple Leafs, one of the worst teams in the league last season.

At times, he looked like a defensive mastermind.  He seemed poised to boost Brandon Sutter in their own end and even improved Sutter’s possession stats temporarily.  Also, he was fantastic on the penalty kill, a major reason he was brought here.  But, like many others, Winnik was forced into role’s that he isn’t suited for.

He found himself playing top-six minutes, mostly alongside Sidney Crosby.  He looked average in that role at times, but for the most part he was simply holding Sid back due to his lack of speed and offensive instincts.

The biggest disappointment came in the playoffs, as Daniel Winnik seemed to disappear.  He looked lost defensively, which is alarming considering that’s what he was brought to Pittsburgh for.

I don’t expect Winnik to rejoin the Pittsburgh Penguins.  He’ll likely fetch something similar to this season as far as salary, and we don’t need to spend $1.3 million on another defensive forward that lacks speed and offensive ability.